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Comment: Re:Tilting at Windmills (Score 1) 347

by Zorpheus (#49142859) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates
When you give an estimate you give your boss something to plan with. He can get things prepared and plan what is done after you finish. It allows to use the time well, and it assures that it will be fixed, but is not done yet.
I think it does not matter so much that you take a bit longer that way. He can make plans for the rest of the company with that estimate, so it allows everyone else to make better use of their time, and it brings things into order.
At least that is what I think.

Comment: Re:a little brighter (Score 1) 203

by Zorpheus (#49126887) Attached to: What Happens When Betelgeuse Explodes?
I think you are right, it must be the flux, not the light intensity. I think the light density of the quarter moon is not that much compared to e.g. Sirius, but of course the flux is considerably larger.
But it is hard to imagine a star with the whole flux of the quarter moon, that must be an extremely bright tiny spot, maybe like a laser.

Comment: Re:The whole idea is crazy (Score 1) 288

by Zorpheus (#49025183) Attached to: Quantum Equation Suggests Universe Had No Beginning

I've heard it said that our our universe is definitely not the inside of a black hole but I have never heard the reasoning for that claim beyond the "maths says it's a singularity". As with a black hole, light cannot escape our visible universe and the inflationary period embedded in the BBT could be interpreted as the initial collapse into a black hole, ie: I like to speculate that it's black holes all the way down (and up, sideways, etc).

Damn, that is what I am also wondering about. Would be really nice to see a good explanation for that.
I mean there must be some relation between the singularity that a black hole is and the singularity at the big bang. In one case the mass collapses and in the other one it inflates and forms a universe. But what is the difference, or isn't there any, and it is just looking at it from outside and from inside?
Below the article here is a link to an article about a theory related to that.. The theory is that the universe is at the surface of a 4-dimensional black hole, which would explain these things. Though I still don't know why it isn't just a 3-dimensional black hole.

Comment: Re:The whole idea is crazy (Score 1) 288

by Zorpheus (#49024651) Attached to: Quantum Equation Suggests Universe Had No Beginning
But how did this agglomeration of energy / mass form? What started time?
The big bang model is an interpolation backwards in time from our current world. It shows how things must have been, but at the singularity it stops making sense. I think this interpolation is missing something important, something that we don't know about yet.

Comment: Avoiding bottlenecks (Score 3, Interesting) 63

by Zorpheus (#48957617) Attached to: MIT Randomizes Tasks To Speed Massive Multicore Processors
The article says that the SprayList algorithm is faster for many cores than a traditional priority queue, since there are collisions when several cores ask for the top priority task at once.
Couldn't you just distribute the tasks ahead of time, giving every core a new task before its current task is finished?
Also, the article syas:

Random assignment has traditionally been frowned upon by those who think a lot about computer processors, the researchers noted in a paper explaining the work. A random scheduling algorithm takes longer to jump around the queue than a conventional one does. Caches can't be used to store upcoming work items. And if a set of tasks needed to perform one job are executed out of order, then the computer needs additional time to reassemble the final results.

I would think these problems are the same for the priority queue that they compare performance to. And I guess there are other ways which avoid these problems, which might produce faster results.

Comment: Re:Government Intervention (Score 2) 495

Yup. We've made that mistake before, too - running government-funded trains over privately held tracks is ludicrous compared to the alternative, yet that pattern the "compromise" we keep making again and again resulting in nothing more than guaranteed payments from taxpayers to some of the largest corporations in the country.

Yes, that is stupid. The tracks are a natural monopoly, whoever builds a track has a monopoly for a certain connection. Natural monopolies should always be in the hand of the state.
Train services can be run by several companies on the same track. It is easy to have competition there, this is where the free market is good.
But I think no country is getting this right.

Comment: Re:keeping station behind it? (Score 1) 126

by Zorpheus (#48914911) Attached to: Proposed Space Telescope Uses Huge Opaque Disk To Surpass Hubble

It makes sense. We can radiate individual photons for thrust if so desired.

Well, you have to take the thrust from the black body radiation of your spaceship into count. This has the photon shot noise of sqrt(N) where N is the number of photons. So this will limit the accuracy of the trust, unless you can cool down the whole spaceship to absolute zero.

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.